Ipek Duben: ‘I’m suggesting, with this project, that we should stop to listen’
The Turkish artist discusses her work THEY/ONLAR, a multiscreen video installation previously seen at SALT, Istanbul, and now showing for the first time in the UK
8 April – 29 May 2017
Kate Tempest, guest director for this year’s Brighton Festival, wanted the programme to reflect the deep anxiety and uncertainty many feel in the UK, and in mainland Europe, about our relationships to ourselves and to others. Tempest summarises her programme as ‘Everyday Epic’ – art that helps us to connect to ourselves and others through an exploration of our individual stories and differences. The multi-screen video installation THEY/ONLAR (2015), by Ipek Duben (b1941, Istanbul), “is a timely work to present at what many people feel to be a crisis point”, says Fabrica co-director Liz Whitehead.
THEY/ONLAR focuses on how Turkish society views “They” or “the Other” through an exploration of the diversity of gender, ethnicity and sexuality that exists in the country. For this project, Duben has featured several individuals telling their own stories as a reflection on the discrimination many people experience in Turkey. Although these stories expose individual histories, attitudes and prejudices, Duben believes that we can learn much about ourselves and how to interact with others, in the greater global context, through listening more to personal stories.
• Ipek Duben: THEY/ONLAR is at Fabrica, Brighton, until 29 May 2017.
Interview by ALEXANDER GLOVER
Filmed by MARTIN KENNEDY